NYC’s VINYL LIFE brings back old school on debut artist album

It’s time to have some fun. The boys in Vinyl Life have been at it for years rocking classic Hip-Hop, rave and house cassettes while at the same time collecting an impressive array of vintage analog gear. Seriously pissed off with the lack of presentation in modern electronic music, Vinyl Life built their debut album from the ground up and it’s all about the live show. Think Joey Beltram meets The Jungle Brothers meets Fast Eddie meets The KLF.

A true live act, New York City’s Vinyl Life is comprised of founder/programmer Butcha, MC Phaze Future and Keyboardist Richie Roxx. The stage show is comprised of a full on “rig” of analog gear set up on the stage where Phaze Future stands front and center dropping his signature rhymes and making an instant connection with audiences. And since most Vinyl Life tracks feature lyrics, this show is much more exciting than 45 minutes of instrumentals. There’s a classic pop element here that’s hard to resist and it’s the “gear-only” philosophy that gives Vinyl Life a sound like no other. Studio tracks have a live feel because they are produced in a dub style – the mixing board is the main instrument.

With a needle-on-the-record crackle, “Hot Sauce” immerses in some fresh Hip-House packed with Phaze Future’s hysterical lyrics, vocodered choruses, P-Funk bassline and 4/4 beats. “Hi-Tops” takes it way back to the rave era, throbbing with all of those great elements that made it an inspirational time for dance music. Yes, sirens are included. “Bass Go Boom” ventures out into breakier territories matching jagged beats and heavy synths with lyrics that cite Brillo Pads, Weed and Blanka from Street Fighter. Next, we turn down another road and find the album’s ballad – “Electric Symphony (feat. Nite Club).” It’s pure robot love with vocals split between Richie Roxx and Butcha. We wash away the tears and get ready to boogie once again with “Innovation (Sebastian Marciano Remix).” This is the big room dance track of the album and it possesses quite an electro synth line. It’s simply massive.

“Like This” is the album’s first single and a classic sing-a-long for the breakdancers. You can listen to this song and imagine kids spinning on their heads. “Elevator Up,” “Future Beat” and “Etch-A-Sketch” provide some more Hip-House madness, while “Good Life (It’s More Fun To Compute)” is Vinyl Life’s ode to Kraftwerk and a pretty sick cover. Next, for a real pace changer the boys visit the islands and recruit dancehall prophet Uzimon who spits some tropic thunder on “Press Rewind.” And if Vinyl Life’s comedic side was not yet apparent, then look no further than their 2009 reworking of De La Soul’s “Take It Off.” This one features Prince Paul collaborator J-Zone and proves that the more times change the more they remain the same.

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